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New Research Initiative Targets Noise Mitigation for Floating Offshore Wind

A groundbreaking marine research initiative has commenced, aiming to advance the understanding and reduction of underwater noise produced by floating offshore wind farms. This collaborative project, led by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE), involves partners Equinor, JASCO Applied Sciences, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), and Xi Engineering. Funding has been provided jointly by The Crown Estate and the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence.

Hywind Tampen turbines

Addressing underwater noise is crucial for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of floating offshore wind developments. While substantial data exists for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines, floating offshore wind turbines remain less studied. The FLOWN-MIT programme aims to close this gap by improving environmental impact knowledge and developing standardized methods for monitoring and mitigating noise.

Andrew Stormonth-Darling, Principal Portfolio Manager at ORE Catapult, highlighted the project’s significance: “This important project will build on our existing body of knowledge to deliver this novel research. The team will harness live operational data from commercial floating offshore windfarms to model an accurate acoustic profile of noise emissions from floating offshore wind turbines.”

The initiative will conduct a comprehensive environmental risk review and identify effective noise monitoring and mitigation techniques to support a more efficient and evidence-based consenting process for offshore wind projects.

Olivia Thomas, Head of Planning & Technical, Marine at The Crown Estate, emphasized the importance of the research: “As stewards of the seabed, we are committed to fostering responsible development of our offshore environment. This initiative is an important milestone in achieving evidence-led, sustainable offshore wind development.”

The FLOWN-MIT programme, expected to conclude in Spring 2026, aligns with the goals of the £50 million Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme, established by The Crown Estate. This programme unites 26 government organizations, industry bodies, and environmental NGOs to address climate and biodiversity crises. The FLOWN-MIT project is one of 35 initiatives funded to fill crucial evidence gaps for sustainable offshore wind development, promoting environmental stewardship while supporting renewable energy growth.

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